It begs the question: Does a message of tolerance have to be political in today’s world?
With the fervent discussion of alt-right policies surrounding Trump’s impending presidency, it’s hard to think that this new Amazon ad ISN’T a pointed response to anti-Muslim rhetoric. The brand new ad, shown below, comes at a time when ideas such as Muslim registries and bans on immigration are frighteningly close to becoming policy and tearing down hopes of tolerance.
The ad features an imam and priest who get each other the same gift: knee braces to help them pray comfortably. Superficially, it’s a cute, funny ad, but the subtext (which doesn’t require too much analysis to reach) is what’s got people talking:
Adding to the speculation that this is an “important” ad is the fact that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who uses Twitter very sparingly, shot out the video to his followers and mentions how proud he is of his ad team.
Like so many other people do in America, Bezos has an adversarial history with Donald Trump. Referring to Bezos’ purchase of The Washington Post, Trump said to Fox’s Sean Hannity, "This is owned as a toy by Jeff Bezos who controls Amazon. Amazon is getting away with murder tax-wise. He's using The Washington Post for power so that the politicians in Washington don't tax Amazon like they should be taxed."
So while there may exist some personal animus between Bezos and Trump, it’s still possible to enjoy and appreciate the message in the ad without the message getting mired in politics, even if, as many suspect, that was the inspiration for the ad in the first place.